Today's riddle: how can Dubya's final days produce more blessings than Obama's finale? Answer: Dubya spawned reform while Obama aborted it. Dubya's reign so jolted the world a multitude rose up and, swayed by campaign sizzle, elected a smiley face minority pledging systemic reform. Thus, the hardwon silver lining payoff for Dubya's fiasco politics.
When Obama, the liberal hustler who never refused a bad compromise, then morphed into glaring anti-reformer, whoosh went any accountability for broken promises. "What," cry faithful Dems, "vilify our first minority president while the right wants to tar and feather him." In fact, BO tripled down by blowing opportunities and not battling for declared principle, thus defanging the "audacity of reform" movement that elected him. Who knew that horrendous rightwing devils create more incentive for change than Democrats who compromise with the same devils?
More proof than needed is found in wayward Democratic flocks going Hillaryish (gesundheit). Not only is she allergic to reform but this Republican-lite hawks continuity to last century's status quo. The Great Obama Betrayal so discombobulated party faithful, millions have regressed: "we don't need no stinking reform badges, just our first, pants suit woman president."
If that's how 60 million+ are rewarded for first electing that "lesser evil" (first vs. HC in '08, then McCain and Romney), that meme produces no more triumphs than Obama's broken promises. Time to have our heads (and paradigms) examined. If no drama-no reform Obama "sheepdogs" the disappointed and vulnerable Clintonward, then this one-time lesser evil ignites a much greater one.
'Lesser Evils' Shun Reform
Agreed, on some social issues, plus the half-a-loaf of Obamacare, Republicans are worse. But Obama was late on gay marriage, was stymied on gun control, and wimpy confronting police violence or the inevitable racial firestorms. Bottom line: if the longterm payoff from BO's refusal to threaten economic tycoons or Pentagon spending outlasts his presidency, then both the reform movement and reform candidates will be worse off (and demonizing Elizabeth Warren on the TPP suggests more nastiness to come).
In sum, Obama is the best poster child I know to expose "lesser evil" fantasies. And now, along comes Bernie Sanders with a potential coup de grace to this dead-end logic. There's nothing "lesser" in Sanders, a true independent, not beholden to Party corporatists, refusing both PAC money and negative campaigning against a foe awash with public negatives. Here's a principled, fully-vetted populist, for years voicing the same progressive values: his candidacy saves us from holding our noses when casting votes. If he simply topples Hillary, Sanders delivers an unabashed good, setting off an earthquake under the power elite on both sides. Not perfect on military and foreign affairs, let's give him a chance to set forth his overseas vision (far less imperial I suspect than any other candidate).